Blogging makes child writers happier, more confident

childrencomputer

Modern communications technology is often blamed for supposed declining standards in literacy. But a British study finds children who make regular use of social networking tools are more likely to be confident about their written communication.

The study by the National Literacy Trust found some seemingly obvious patterns, such as the fact that children who wrote on blogs were more likely to say they enjoyed writing. However, the study may give a clearer insight into exactly why that is: blog writers were considerably more likely to back the view that writing is more fun when you can choose your own topic.

The results also showed that children who write blogs or participate on social networks are notably more likely to rate their own writing skills highly. Perhaps surprisingly, one in four children blog regularly, while one in six maintain their own website.

Of course, there’s no guarantee how any cause and effect works in this situation. It’s possible that children who are already confident about communication are more likely to be drawn to social networking.

The study also found that mobile phone ownership makes little discernible difference to a child’s attitude to writing or how often they write. That may simply be down to mobile use being so widespread among children that mobile users are too big a group to have any distinct characteristics.

One result which will make some easily shocked traditionalists gasp is that more children reported writing a text message in the past month (81.9 percent) than writing homework (77 percent). The next three most popular forms of writing were all tech-related: instant messaging, e-mails and post on a social networking site.

It’s also worth noting that the study was based on an online survey (albeit one carried out at schools), meaning children with little or no internet access at school will have been underrepresented.

[Picture source: Flickr user Whiteafrican (CC)]





6 Responses to Blogging makes child writers happier, more confident

  1. Yes, but do they *actually* write any better? Quite possibly not. After all, if they are poor writers to begin with, but the writing boosts their esteem but they lack guidance to improve their writing, they may actually be reinforcing bad writing! I have read studies in the past showing that US students have a very high confidence in the quality of their work while many students in Asia do not, meanwhile the US students consistently underperformed their Asian counterparts. Moral of the story? “Self confidence” has zero correlation to actual results, and may actual reduce opportunities to improve due to the feeling that improvement is not needed.

    J.Ja

    • When I read that part about how children with blogs are more likely to give their writing skills higher ratings, it just made me think, “Great. Terrible writers who are also arrogant.”

  2. Yes, but do they *actually* write any better? Quite possibly not. After all, if they are poor writers to begin with, but the writing boosts their esteem but they lack guidance to improve their writing, they may actually be reinforcing bad writing! I have read studies in the past showing that US students have a very high confidence in the quality of their work while many students in Asia do not, meanwhile the US students consistently underperformed their Asian counterparts. Moral of the story? "Self confidence" has zero correlation to actual results, and may actual reduce opportunities to improve due to the feeling that improvement is not needed.

    J.Ja

    • When I read that part about how children with blogs are more likely to give their writing skills higher ratings, it just made me think, "Great. Terrible writers who are also arrogant."

  3. Some of us can actually write, and do it well. It really does boost self-confidence, and unless you write really badly to a blog, your writing does improve.

    Seriously, we aren’t all chav’s who grunt and have no manners.

  4. Some of us can actually write, and do it well. It really does boost self-confidence, and unless you write really badly to a blog, your writing does improve.

    Seriously, we aren't all chav's who grunt and have no manners.